of minding the gap, or the mad middle men
Poodle skirts. Bodacious beehive hair. Pastel kitchen appliances. Midcentury décor. Man Men frenzy. The 50’s are back with a vengeance, and it’s no wonder – they were utterly charming.
And this charm is not lost on me, self-professed sucker for all of the above.
Charm aside, though? The 50’s were one big gilded altar to the Goddess of Convenience. Cans, packets, preservatives, mixes, casseroles, quick, now, easy became building blocks of normal life.
I find it at once fascinating and terrifying how just a few decades of this sort of “normal” managed to annihilate our birthright of connection to the things we consume.
I’m on the prowl for ways to cut out the sinister middle men and reorient myself towards the natural, the (w)holistic, the thoughtful, the homemade. I know it’s chic to talk that talk. But I really mean it.
I’m darning my socks. I’m making yoghurt. I’m buying second-hand when I can. I’m switching out Gucci for patchouli. I’m not a self-righteous hipster calling for regime change. Or maybe I am.
I’m just saying…let’s give the Convenience Goddess a subversive nudge and watch in glee as she slips off her throne.
love it. i’m on that adventure too.
greetings from two more who share your journey — two with birth roots stretching all the way back to the second half of the 50’s. nothing there we wish to recapture or revert to — but as we face the future we are thinking and acting small scale, locally sourced, whole (foods), and wholesome. is this a global revolution or an interesting subculture? we have our noses pressed up far too close to tell.
It’s a revolution at least among the well-fed Western middle class…but in the developing Southeast Asia I’ve seen, the predominant longing is for prosperity, not simplicity.
totally AGREE with u! well said =)
Not that it’s particularly important, but Mad Men is set in the 60’s..
More related: I’ve been struck with how much we have changed as a society since the 60’s. Betty Draper smokes and drinks through her pregnancy in Season 2.. Mad Men with single-malt and filterless breakfasts.. The appeal to utility and happiness.
It’d definitely be interesting to see what the advertising (fictional or otherwise) world looks like today.
Glad to see you are writing again! Subscribed.
AT! You are totally right about the 60’s — I was basing my thoughts on Betty, who to me is more dated in all her housewifely glory.
I definitely do think the 50s brought about a lot of shift toward the convenient. I believe they were caught up in a celebration of modern technology and maybe the pendulum swung a bit too far. However, we do have to remember there were still a lot of traditional values of the time and plenty of homemade goodies. Especially outside the suburbs. Then there were the dinner parties with hours of cooking. Cloth table cloths, cloth napkins, etc. Still, this is an interesting part of 1950s culture that I hadn’t recently given any consideration, though it hasn’t totally escaped me. That is a valid point. I’m glad I can occasionally microwave a frozen french bread pizza, but at the same time, I love a homemade meal. It’s part of my everyday life.
Great thoughts! As an aspiring hostess-with-the-mostest I can definitely appreciate my grandmother’s embroidered linens from that era…I love thoughtfulness given to little details like that. (: